Archive for January, 2011

2011 New Year’s Resolutions Update

Posted in books, games, technology with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by bytor

How am I doing with my NY resolutions?

Around the turn of the year I tweeted my New Year’s Resolutions. Briefly, they were

  1. Quit Sky (the satellite TV provider, and part of the Murdoch evil empire)
  2. Try to not leave so many videogames unfinished
  3. Try and read a bit more (a general one that features every year)

Quit Sky

Well on the Sky front, I haven’t really done anything. My reason (over and above a general dislike for Murdoch) is the increasing cost (currently £20.50 pcm), a realisation that I actually only occasionally watch TV, and most of that is on the standard BBC channels (occasionally the digital channels), and a desire to upgrade to an HD source (I certainly won’t be paying the premium to get Sky HD).

My masterplan was to switch to Freesat HD. I already have the satellite dish and although the selection of channels on Freesat compared with even the basic Sky package is much smaller, it mostly covers the things I like to watch. The only things I would miss are very occasional shows on FX and maybe SyFy or Sky1, but this is rare. I wanted to get a Freesat HD recorder and the Humax 500GB model was the one I had my eye on. It costs £300 but this would pay it self off by just over a year of Sky subscriptions. I would lose a few channels, and gain BBC HD, BBC 1 HD, ITV HD and any other future channels which launch in HD on Freesat (hopefully). So, I will probably execute this plan soon.

The imminent launch of Sky Atlantic almost put a spanner in the works of my plan. Dustin Hoffman is quite persuasive, and HBO is a purveyor many quality shows. However having considered it carefully, I know I don’t have enough time to watch all those shows anyway so I should just forget about it. If there is a series on there that I really must have, I’ll just have to buy the box set DVD/BD.

Videogame completion

This one is not looking so good. Here is my list of games currently uncompleted.

  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)  – enjoying it, but still only about 1/5 of way through.
  • Resident Evil 4 (Wii) – Not played it for ages, but I never actually got right to the end. I’m sure I could polish it off in a weekend though if I really tried.
  • Monkey Island 2 (SE) (iPhone) – only recently purchased, after I actually completed MI 1, but I have only got a little way into it, so this will take some time.
  • Bioshock (PC) – Bought ages ago. Really enjoyed but got distracted about half way through. Will be quite a struggle to finish I think.
  • Bioshock 2 (PS3) – Recently bought when I got the PS3 as it was cheap. A very good game, but I’ve only scratched the surface…
  • Blade Runner (PC) – This is a classic point-and-click adventure from 1997, which I bought off Ebay after it was featured in Edge Magazine. It really is a game ahead of it’s time in terms of atmosphere and style.

The real problem is when you consider the next list: games I really am tempted to buy

  • Mass Effect 2 (PS3) – This has just been released and I don’t know how long I will hold out. I downloaded the demo and it’s really, really good.
  • F1 2010 (PS3) – This is actually one of the reasons I was tempted into getting a PS3 in the first place. There’s only a couple of months to the start of the new F1 season and so I think this will be bought pretty soon….
  • Uncharted 2 (PS3) – Generally agreed to be one of the best PS3 games. Ever.
  • Red Dead Redemption (PS) – Another really well reviewed game which is now just old enough to be pretty cheap too.
  • Resident Evil 5 Move edition (PS3) – OK, I really should at least complete RE:4 before I buy this.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3) – this is not out yet, but it’s not long. A sequel to a classic game which looks good and which fans of Blade Runner-esque settings will find hard to resist.
  • Beyond Good & Evil HD (re-make) (PS3) BG&E is an old game that was released on GameCube and PS2 and is another contender for “best Zelda game that is not actually a Zelda game” (other contenders for this title include Okami). Now it’s being spruced up with fancy new graphics and re-released for PS3…
  • Shadow Of The Colossus & Ico (remake) (PS3) Underrated, but much acclaimed PS2 games, now coming to PS3 with spiffy HD visuals. 91% and 90% respectively on Metacritic.
  • Portal 2 (PS3) – Luckily this is not due for some time. But Valve’s new found love affair with Sony means this might be the definitive version, and Jonathan Coulton has recently confirmed that he will again be providing a song. (Could it ever live up to the classic that was Still Alive)

Read more

Well, so far I have read precisely “zero” books. On the plus side I have listened to 1 audiobook and am about halfway though another so that’s something. The one I completed was a disappointment however. (The Michael Moorcock Doctor Who title “Coming Of The Terraphiles”).

To do list for books:

  • The Angel’s Game (sequel to Shadow of the Wind)
  • Our Kind Of Traitor (Le Carré, audiobook)
  • Operation Mincemeat (in progress, audiobook)
  • The God Delusion (Dawkins)

Wish me luck!